Seneca County

Seneca County Young Professionals reach 100 members

SCYP Logo (1)This month, the Seneca County Young Professionals (SCYP) reached 100 members for the first time! The group began the year with less than 40 members and through an increased focus on programming and added value to members, they have grown to 100 members and counting.

SCYP was started in 2014 as a way to connect new and emerging professionals with each other and the community. The organization was made possible by Pat DeMonte and the Tiffin-Seneca United Way, who saw a need for such a group in the community.

SCYP focuses on three core missions: Connect, Inspire and Grow.

Connect
The Connect committee plans social and networking events for the group. These include summer and winter sports leagues, exclusive events at new establishments throughout Seneca County, and two signature monthly events – Wednesdays After Work and Quick Connect Lunches.

Wednesdays After Work take place on the first Wednesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. Each event takes place at a different location within Seneca County. For those who cannot make it to an after-hours event, SCYP also hosts a Quick Connect Lunch from 12-1 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month. Both events are open to professionals of all ages. Check social media for upcoming events and locations.

Inspire
Young professionals place importance on community involvement and social responsibility. The Inspire committee organizes volunteer efforts for the organization. While anyone may reach out to the young professionals for assistance with events, they have several organized events each year for members to get out and volunteer. Past events have included Painting for a Purpose, proceeds benefiting the United Way CPR training, installing smoke detectors in homes in Fostoria, serving food for the Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure, assisting at the Bash on The Bay concert, and participating in the United Way Day of Caring.

Grow
The Grow committee focuses on professional and personal development for members. Previous events have included Wellness at the Y, from which the group’s YMCA membership discount stems, a Financial Literacy round table, Networking 101, and a presentation about maintaining a work-life balance, to name a few.

In addition to these events, members are also eligible for a professional development scholarship. Members can apply for up to $500 to cover costs, including travel and registration, for a professional development event or training not covered by their employer.

For more information about SCYP, visit their website or Facebook.

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OSU Extension Office connects community with university resources

osu extensionThe Ohio State University Extension in Seneca County aims to connect the university’s resources and knowledge to the community. Originally working closely with farmers to share research on growing better crops and livestock, the OSU Extension now works with many different parts of the community. It separates these parts into four compact areas of outreach; Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4-H Youth Development, Family and Consumer Services, and Community Development.

Agriculture and Natural Resources programs assist with technology, marketing and educational support, and even offer training opportunities and certifications.  4-H Youth Development teaches kids lessons in leadership, communication and collaboration while increasing their knowledge in math, science, technology and a variety of other topics. Kids are able to participate in a number of ways, including community clubs, camps, in-school and after-school activities, and summer programs that both increase their self-confidence and personal skills in addition to honing their skills in specific subjects such as animals, computers, public speaking, or cooking. Family and Consumer Services provides community members with the skills, knowledge and resources to make informed, healthy life choices. This is done through teaching and promoting safe food practices, better nutrition, better finances and better relationships using evidence-based, impartial, current research into useful information that can improve the quality of people’s lives. Community Development advances income and employment opportunities by applying cutting-edge research, knowledge and innovations to improve local businesses and the communities they serve. By examining the needs of each community, the OSU Extension is able to enhance the wellbeing of communities and neighborhoods through interactive and collaborative partnerships with local businesses and organizations, community leaders and local officials.

Since 1914, the Ohio State University Extension has been helping Ohioans build better lives, better businesses, and better communities. To learn more about the OSU Extension visit their website, and check out some of the additional programs they offer like the Master Gardener Volunteers and SNAP-Ed, a free nutrition education and obesity prevention program serving low-income adults and youth.

Check out this video for an overview of the office: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuP5o__j4Hk

Heidelberg University’s graduate counseling program lands $1.3M grant

HU Logo 10.17Press release provided by Heidelberg University.

Heidelberg University’s Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) Program has received a four-year, $1.3 million grant to train counselors to fill gaps and unmet needs in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA). The grant, titled Project KITE, will target the rural counties of Erie, Huron, Seneca and Sandusky and three urban cities, Cleveland, Toledo and Columbus.

Through the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training grant, graduate counseling students in their final internship will be eligible to receive a $10,000 scholarship during their field experience/internship. Working in interdisciplinary behavioral health care teams, the students will focus on providing trauma-informed care and substance abuse mental health services in rural and underserved areas throughout northwest Ohio.

This is the second grant the graduate counseling program has received from the Health Resources & Services Administration as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Last fall, the program received a $214,286 grant to assist in the training of counselors dealing with at-risk children.

“What’s attractive about the grant is that it gives our students who are accepted into the scholarship program a $10,000 stipend to do their field experience as well as first-hand experience working with interdisciplinary teams in various agencies and schools,” said MAC Program Director Marjorie Shavers. The funding “opens up opportunities for our students and also speaks to the deficit we have in mental health providers” in the area.

In all, 78 scholarships will be available over the four-year lifespan of the grant.

Counselors trained through Heidelberg’s MAC program are being prepared to serve mental health clients with issues specifically related to the ever-growing drug epidemic, Shavers explained.

Jo-Ann Lipford Sanders, dean of the School of Education and Counseling at Heidelberg, said certain geographic areas historically have had less access to behavioral health care. “There’s a real serious shortage of both medical and behavioral healthcare in these areas for myriad reasons,” Lipford Sanders said, noting that by 2025, HRSA projections indicate “an additional shortage among many healthcare providers, specifically psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors and school counselors.”

“There are really strong demands for these behavioral healthcare personnel trained in comprehensive service delivery as the demand for services from models such as the Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) continues to grow,” Lipford Sanders said.

In addition to the student scholarships, Heidelberg will use the grant funding to recruit men and minorities into the MAC program, develop an interdisciplinary behavioral healthcare conference working with consultants from The Ohio State University, the University of Michigan and Arizona State University, and ongoing education for faculty and clinical supervisors. A full-time project coordinator will be hired to administer the grant.

Heidelberg’s grant partners are the Sandusky City Schools, Mercy Health, the Neighborhood Health Association of Toledo and the Erie County Health Department.

ABOUT HEIDELBERG
Founded in 1850, Heidelberg offers 30 majors, 30 minors and 10 pre-professional programs, awarding the bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of music degrees, as well as master’s degrees in education, counseling, business administration and music. Heidelberg has been consistently ranked as one of the top colleges in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report Magazine. For more information visit the web site at www.heidelberg.edu.

Seneca Conservation District

seneca conservation district logoFor more than 60 years, the Seneca Conservation District has been working with landowners, local, state, and federal agencies as an advocate of conservation in order to maintain healthy and productive working landscapes. With 24 staff members, 4 of which have joined the team in the last year, the District’s long history of helping people is continued through educating the community on how to take care of the environment. Many members of the staff specialize in an area of conservation, and they are ready to assist the community by providing resources and guidance to residents and business owners.

The Seneca Conservation District helps farmers with nutrient management, improving soil health, responsible water quality and quantity, protecting local wildlife habitats, and managing manure nutrients. The District has cover crop resources for farmers, as well as no-till drills, tree planters, and soil probes to rent, and field flags, erosion control netting and staples for purchase. In addition, the District arranges pasture and grazing management plans, engineering plans, private sprayings on rural ditches, new research and investigation into conservation techniques, and wildlife crop damage complaint consultations. Also overseeing the Seneca County Ditch Maintenance Program and the Seneca County Floodplain Management program, staff is ready to help farmers balance decisions by considering economic impact.

Schools can incorporate conservation into their curriculum with ease as the Seneca Conservation District provides educators with classroom instruction, presentations, and education materials on natural resources and agricultural topics. Students can also benefit from the educational tours given at the outdoor learning lab, Miller Conservation Farm. The District can assist educators on grant applications for related projects and with “Wild School” sites and fundraising, and supports students through Conservation Camps scholarships, academic scholarships, mentoring/job shadowing experiences, and youth conservation trophies at the Seneca County Fair. Students can also explore the Miller Conservation Farm, Kelbley Wildlife Area, and Red Fox Wildlife area which are maintained by the Seneca Conservation District. All these environmental programs are top of the line educational materials that strive to teach our youth about the importance and value of soil and water resources.

The community is encouraged to take part events hosted throughout the year by the Seneca County District. Farmers, college, and high school students join the team as part of the Nutrient Bus Tour, a fantastic learning experience to gather information about nutrients flowing into the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) and how they affect Lake Erie algal blooms last November. Farmers were invited on a cruise in August with The Charter Boat Captains Association to chat with the Division of Wildlife to learn about the unique habitat and species that live in and on the shores and water of Lake Erie. For families, Water Fest is a day filled with games and activities held at the Miller Conservation Farm, including crafts, hands-on water activities, and hayrides. Miller Conservation Farm hosts many events including youth clay pigeon shoots, a mobility impaired deer hunt, a youth turkey hunt, and many more!

Learn more about the Seneca Conservation District here.

Community seeks proposals for new Comprehensive Plan

Seneca County, Tiffin, Fostoria to collaborate on community plan

View the complete request for proposal here.

TIFFIN, OHIO – September 27, 2017 – The Seneca Regional Planning Commission released a request for proposals for a new county-wide Comprehensive Plan, to include Tiffin and Fostoria. The request includes a combined plan for the three entities, as well as individual plans, each with separate cost estimates, and a twenty-year horizon. Proposals will be accepted until Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 3 p.m.

Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner said the plan is yet another way for the county to partner with the cities on a common cause. “This plan will continue the climate of collaboration between the different entities within Seneca County, including the successful merger of the Fostoria and Tiffin courts, as well as the execution of the Justice Center,” he said.

The Comprehensive Plan will address long-range policy for land use planning, transportation, economic development, housing, public facilities, historic, natural and cultural resources, agricultural preservation, intergovernmental cooperation, budget preparation, and capital improvement planning and other facets of community life deemed important by the chosen consultant and agreed to by the participating entities.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz is looking forward to a new plan and direction for the city. “Our current plan was created in 1994 and is, at this point, extremely outdated. I am excited to see what the consultants will come up with for the community’s development,” he said.

Work is anticipated to begin in 2018 with an 18- to 24-month timeframe, if a firm is selected and funding allocated. The finished product should be ready for adoption by the participating legislative bodies at public hearings by late 2019.

Inquiries should be directed to Charlene Watkins, Executive Director, Seneca Regional Planning Commission, cjwatkins@senecarpc.org, 419.443.7936 ext. 123.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Reineke Ford Celebrates Golden Anniversary with Ford Motor Company

PRESS RELEASE - Reineke Ford Celebrates Golden Anniversary with Ford Motor Company - 9.20Press release provided by Reineke Ford


FOSTORIA, OHIO – Reineke Ford, Inc. of Fostoria celebrates 50 years of partnership with Ford Motor Company. On August 24, 1967, Mr. William F. Reineke, Sr. was welcomed into the Ford Motor Company in Fostoria, and Reineke Ford has been selling new Ford vehicles since that date.

William F. Reineke, Sr., took a great risk with the support of his wife, Corrine, and moved his very young family from Toledo, to Fostoria, to fulfill a dream of owning an auto dealership. He moved there in 1960 and first acquired a Buick Oldsmobile franchise. In 1967, he acquired the Ford franchise from Willis B. Hakes, who was an original dealer approved by Henry Ford in 1913.

“Bill” Reineke, Sr. worked very hard at pursuing the American Dream and raising 10 children in Fostoria. He was involved in many organizations and led by example.

Thomas Reineke, who is now the dealer principle and has been working at this dealership in various positions for the past 40 years, starting with the wash rack, service, parts, sales and today, management as President. Tom Reineke and wife, Stacey, are proud to have raised their children, Laura and Alex, through Reineke Ford’s community involvement in Fostoria.

Other Reineke Family members are involved in the management of Reineke Family Dealerships., including the next generation, who are pursing the example of the founder.

Today, Reineke Family Dealerships has Ford & Lincoln franchises located in Tiffin (Reineke’s Tiffin Ford Lincoln), Findlay (Reineke Ford Lincoln of Findlay), and Lima (Reineke Ford Lincoln of Lima) along with Reineke Ford, in Fostoria.  “Our long standing relationship defines why Ford continues to be our flagship brand,” said Tom Reineke, President, “from stated values to quality products we’re proud to be a part of the Ford family.”

Reineke Family Dealerships, founded in 1960 by William F. Reineke, Sr., is a family owned organization that will sell approximately 7,500 cars in 2017 and employs approximately 450 full and part-time employees.  Known for strong customer loyalty and high sales and service ratings, Reineke Family Dealerships operates in Fostoria, Tiffin, Lima, Upper Sandusky, Findlay, North Baltimore, and sells Ford, Lincoln, Nissan, Honda, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and RAM vehicles.

A customer open house is planned for Friday, September 22nd, starting at 2:00PM and Saturday, September 23rd, at Reineke Ford, 1303 Perrysburg Road, Fostoria.

39th Tiffin-Seneca Heritage Festival this weekend

heritage festival brochureBeginning in 1979, the Heritage Festival is the 8th largest in Ohio and is preparing for a great 39th year. Originally a one day event, the festival was an event for the community to celebrate the town’s history by visiting the Seneca County Museum, strolling among craft exhibits, enjoying bands, and eagerly watching to see which ladies dressed in old fashion clothing would win the titles of Miss and Mrs. Heritage Festival. Although times have changed, the event still honors the traditions of the city while including some new attractions September 15th-17th, 2017.

At the Park

The Living Historic Village in Hedges-Boyer Park features reenactments, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and much more for a fun family environment. “Children’s Village Crafts and Games on the Green” are free to all ages, and children under 12 can enter the Village gate for free as well, with adult tickets costing $3. “Candy Cannon Shoot” happen at 12:30pm and 3pm both Saturday and Sunday for children 12 and under, and a “Heritage Cemetery Walk” at the Village Entrance at 6pm Saturday. Be sure to check out the “Heritage Ball” held in the YMCA Fieldhouse Saturday night at 7:30pm, where the whole family can learn dances of the era. Sunday the games continue with a Vintage 1860s Baseball Game at 10am and the Lake Plains Chorus performing at 1pm. Throughout both days live music will play, making any time a great time to stop by!

Downtown

German Heritage Block kicks off downtown Friday night with Richard Wiener 6:30pm-9:30pm in the County Health Department Lot. The Fostoria Community Band will perform the following day 12pm-1pm, followed by a Cream Puff Eating Contest (sign up quick, only the first 6 can compete!). The Toledo Holzhacker Baum will be there 2:30pm-3:30pm as well as 6:30pm-7:30pm on Saturday, with the Route 161 Happy Wanders following 4pm-6pm and again 8pm-10pm. Men and women are encouraged to show off their skills with a Women’s Beer Stein Carrying Contest at 7:30pm on Saturday and a Men’s Beer Stein Holding Contest Sunday at 4pm.

In City Lot 7, New Frontiers: Journey Tribute Band performing Friday from 9pm-12am, and on Saturday, Smalltown Throwdown will perform 6:30-9 pm followed by eighties arena rock tribute band Electrik Circus 9:30pm-12am.

Following the annual parade Saturday, which begins at 10:30am, Elk Lodge 94 is hosting the Kids Korner, filled with free kids events include face painting, sand art, prize giveaways, and crafts, making Saturday’s events fun for all ages.

Also on Saturday, gear up for the 5th Annual Independent Car Show from 12pm-5pm, at the Seneca County Museum. The show will include raffles and drawings to support the museum, as well as the Jolly’s food truck for refreshments. Judging starts at 2pm and plaques will be awarded to winners at 4:30pm.

In the downtown area food will be available all day and rides will run all weekend in the RTA parking lot. Tickets are available at the event and pre-sale tickets can be purchased at Croghan Colonial Bank and Old Fort Bank, 24 tickets for $10 (2-3 needed per ride). For more information visit TiffinFestival.com, a free shuttle is available to the Village and Downtown locations. Come join the community of Tiffin September 15th-17th for the Heritage Festival, where history comes alive!

Other Events

Elks Lodge 94 and Tiffin Eagles 402 will both have beer gardens and live music both night. The Elks will feature Nebdroola Friday and Alternate Ending Saturday night; the Eagles will feature Quickshine on Friday and the Eric Sowers Band on Saturday night.

The Behind the Facade Tour: Riverside Ramble takes place Sunday from 2pm-5pm at Frost Parkway, an exploration of Tiffin’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods. More information can be found at TiffinHistoricTrust.org or contacting Vicki Ohl at 419-448-8588.

Museums around town will also be open, including the American Civil War Museum, The Enchanted Moment Doll Museum, Tiffin Art Guild, Seneca County Museum, and Tiffin Glass Museum. Hours can be found on each museum’s website, as well as the Heritage Festival’s site TiffinFestival.com.

View the brochure and schedule of events here.

American Fine Sinter to make $20M investment

Major expansion to create 25 new jobs

AFS 2017TIFFIN, OHIO – August 22, 2017 American Fine Sinter (AFS) announced today that it will be moving forward with the addition of two production lines at its North American headquarters in Tiffin, Ohio, investing $20 million in equipment and creating 25 new jobs. Tennessee was also a possible site.

AFS President Masayuki Yamamoto attributed the company’s continued growth to its customers, employees and the community: “Our business base is expanding, and we are thankful to have dedicated employees and the backing of the Tiffin community, which allow us to continue to advance.”

This company’s last expansion was announced in 2014, when the company invested $25 million and committed to add 24 new jobs. Since then, they have added 106 jobs and now have 246 employees. This project will fill the remaining space in that expansion with equipment to produce mid and high torque carriers for the Toyota Highlander, RAV4, and Camry, using new technology developed by Toyota. The Tiffin plant is one of three worldwide to use the process.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz applauded AFS’s commitment to the community: “AFS has been a great employer for Tiffin for the past 16 years, and it is wonderful that they continue to choose to invest and grow here.”

With the previous expansion, real property tax exemptions played a significant role due to the cost of building construction. With this expansion, workforce has been the focus, as the company continues to hire at a rapid rate. Initiatives like the Seneca County Workforce Development Strategic Plan, Manufacturing Showcase, and the Student Job Fair are important for long-term success and have helped make the company comfortable with growing here.

About American Fine Sinter
American Fine Sinter (AFS) was established in 2001 in Tiffin, Ohio and started production in 2003. Today, Fine Sinter Co. a joint venture between Tokyo Sintered Metals (TSM) and Japan Powder Metallurgy (JPM), the parent company of AFS, is a $350 million company with more than 1,000 employees worldwide. The company manufactures parts for the automotive, railroad, industrial machinery, and hydraulics industries, and American Fine Sinter most recently has focused on valve seats and variable cam units for the automotive industry.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Local investors announce OCECO acquisition and expansion

20170807_113105

President & CEO Mike Ruhe and Manufacturing & Marketing Manager Keith Ricker

Total investment to exceed $2.5 million

TIFFIN, OHIO – August 10, 2017 – Investors announced this week the purchase of OCECO Inc., located in the Airport Industrial Park in Tiffin, as well as plans to expand the business. The new owners have purchased the business, and are in the process to purchase the real estate, as well as invest in new equipment. They also plan on adding six new employees to the existing workforce.

President and CEO Mike Ruhe sees room for growth in the business: “We have identified opportunities to expand sales, and we are very impressed with the employees; they know we need to grow and they are ready.”

Founded in 1921, OCECO is a fabricator of high quality safety equipment for flammable liquid storage and wastewater gas disposal systems. They supply airports and energy companies like Marathon and Exxon Mobile and also do a large amount of business with municipalities, food production, and factory farms. Key products include fittings, flame arrestors and gas purification systems. They operate out of a 38,000 square foot facility in the Airport Industrial Park and have nine employees.

Seneca County Commission President Mike Kerschner is pleased to see the company grow: “OCECO has been a presence in the community for many years. It’s great to see new investment breathing new life into an existing company.”

The purchase of OCECO has been in development for more than a year, and the new owners are working with several banks, SIEDC, and other partners to obtain funding and receive assistance with export promotion and energy efficiency incentives. Previous owner Dick Borer, who purchased the company from Pettibone, worked diligently in finding new leadership to keep the business in Tiffin, and will be assisting with the transition.

About OCECO
OCECO – originally an abbreviation of Oil Conservation Engineering Company – was started in Cleveland, Ohio in 1921, and was the first supplier of a complete line of venting and tank fitting equipment.

About SIEDC
Started in 1983, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to driving positive economic, downtown, and community development in Tiffin and Seneca County, Ohio, which consistently ranks among the top communities nationally for economic development. Learn more about the great things going on in Tiffin and Seneca County at www.senecasuccess.com.

Seneca County Fair celebrates 175 years

fair logoThis year marks the 175th Seneca County Fair, making it the second oldest county fair in Ohio. At seven days, it is also one of the longest county fairs in the state. The event features livestock exhibitions, live entertainment and other activities for people of all ages.

Seneca County Fair Board member Aaron Howell says this year will have several special features. “A glass-blower will be there, creating commemorative items for the event, there will be a raffle for rides on the Re/Max hot air balloon, and we have invited every previous fair king and queen we could find to a special dinner,” he said. “We’re even bringing back the cow chip throwing contest and dunk tank!”

The Seneca County Fair began 175 years ago as a street fair located first at Rock Creek, and later on Frost Parkway.  The fair found it’s permanent home on the current property, in 1885. Today, it sprawls across 80 acres and attracts 50,000 guests each year.

Every year, more than a thousand kids from across the county participate in the fair through 4H and the Junior Fair Board, exhibiting animals and hands-on projects they work on throughout the year. Additionally, there are children’s rides (only 50 cents per ride), a wide range of food vendors, antique farm equipment, and live entertainment every night of the week. There is live music in the entertainment building Tuesday through Sunday, with acts including Nashville Crush and the Eric Sowers Band, two nights of rodeo, harness racing, horse and tractor pulls, and more. This year’s demolition derby is on track to be one of the largest yet.

Admission to the fair is just $7 per day or $22 for the whole week. Veterans get a special discount on Monday and Seniors on Tuesday, just $2.